Susan Orlowski has a remarkable story. A single mom of 10 children, she is a survivor of domestic abuse whose family’s trajectory has been changed by Children’s Scholarship Fund scholarships. Susan and her children have come a long way.
For more than a decade, Susan homeschooled her children. A few years ago, she made the decision to leave the abusive environment she and her children had become trapped in. It took several years in and out of courtrooms to finally escape the abuse. At that time, Susan realized that she needed more resources and help and could not continue homeschooling.
After the trauma they had experienced, moving to their neighborhood school was not easy for the children. “The transition was a huge change and the large school setting was a shock,” Susan said. She began to look for alternatives where classes would be a little smaller.
“I found out about this school called Mount Royal and I told the Director of Admissions, ‘I need a miracle and I am here for you to make it happen.’” After speaking with the Director of Admissions and headmaster, her eight youngest children enrolled (the eldest two daughters have already graduated high school). Then Susan found out about CSF New Hampshire, and applied for and received generous scholarships. She also began participating in Mount Royal’s work-study program for parents, taking care of preschool students after school to pay her portion of her family’s tuition.
Susan’s children started to thrive immediately. In particular, Mount Royal brought out the best in Catherine, who went from “being so timid, she could not raise her hands or ask questions” to blossoming in her new environment. Catherine, a high school senior now, has a 4.0 GPA and just started a dual enrollment program which allows her to begin her studies at Northeast Catholic College this fall while completing twelfth grade. Due to her excellent grades, she has received a generous financial aid package, which, together with a loan, will make college affordable.
“I want to tell other parents, women especially, that there is a way out, there is hope,” Susan said. “Giving low-income children the same opportunities for a quality education will always make a difference.”